Another Leftist bubble-head -- at the NYT, no less
Someone named Chrystia Freeland wrote an article about income inequality, making some decent points about cronyism, but also reflexively regurgitating talking points on class-warfare tax policy. What caught my eye, though, was this incredible assertion about government funding of education.
Educational attainment, which created the American middle class, is no longer rising. The super-elite lavishes unlimited resources on its children, while public schools are starved of funding. …elite education is increasingly available only to those already at the top. Bill Clinton and Barack Obama enrolled their daughters in an exclusive private school; I’ve done the same with mine.
So “public schools are starved of funding”? That’s a strong statement. It implies very deep reductions in the amount of money being diverted from taxpayers to the government schools. So where are the numbers?
You won’t be surprised to learn that Ms. Freeland doesn’t offer any evidence. And there’s a good reason for that. As show in this chart, government spending on education has skyrocketed in recent years.
This data isn’t adjusted for inflation or population, but you can peruse this amazing chart put together by one of Cato’s education experts to see that per-pupil spending has skyrocketed even after adjusting for inflation.
In other words, Ms. Freeland has no clue what she’s talking about. Or, to be fair, she made a giant-sized mistake, perhaps because she’s lives in a statist bubble and blindly assumes that left-wing politicians tell the truth.
And it goes without saying that none of the editors or (non-existent?) fact checkers at the New York Times knew enough or cared enough to catch a huge blunder.
Is there any limit to Leftist reality denial?
The Campaign to Stop Gun Violence must be one of the sickest subsections of the Left
A man who broke into a home near Calera got a surprise Wednesday morning, when he was shot by a 12-year-old girl who was in the home alone.
According to Ladd Everitt and the CSGV, this girl has a 'duty to retreat'. She locked herself in a closet. But Ladd and his fellow cultists would still believe she was in the wrong because, when the scum tried to get into the closet, the girl fired through the door, hitting him. And what do the say about that?
"'Using armed violence in any context is flat out wrong..."
Now me personally, I think this girl did everything right. She called her mom (who obviously trained her daughter in the safe use of firearms), called 911, got a gun, went to a safer location and then shot the POS when he kept pursuing. Gun control advocates, however, believe we should trust in the good intentions of a criminal while they're in a home alone with a 12yr old girl.
A fatal Obama gaffe at Hofstra?
Missed by Romney, missed by the audience, missed by most of the commentariat, it was the biggest gaffe of the entire debate cycle: Substituting unctuousness for argument, Obama declared himself offended by the suggestion that anyone in his administration, including the U.N. ambassador, would “mislead” the country on Libya.
This bluster — unchallenged by Romney — helped Obama slither out of the Libya question unscathed. Unfortunately for Obama, there is one more debate — next week, entirely on foreign policy. The burning issue will be Libya and the scandalous parade of fictions told by this administration to explain away the debacle.
No one misled? His U.N. ambassador went on not one but five morning shows to spin a confection that the sacking of the consulate and the murder of four Americans came from a video-motivated demonstration turned ugly: “People gathered outside the embassy and then it grew very violent and those with extremist ties joined the fray and came with heavy weapons.”
But there was no gathering. There were no people. There was no fray. It was totally quiet outside the facility until terrorists stormed the compound and killed our ambassador and three others.
The video? A complete irrelevance. It was a coordinated, sophisticated terror attack, encouraged, if anything, by Osama bin Laden’s successor, giving orders from Pakistan to avenge the death of a Libyan jihadist.
Not wishing to admit that we had just been attacked by al-Qaeda affiliates, perhaps answering to the successor of a man on whose grave Obama and the Democrats have been dancing for months, the administration relentlessly advanced the mob/video tale to distract from the truth.
And it wasn’t just his minions who misled the nation. A week after the attack, the president himself, asked by David Letterman about the ambassador’s murder, said it started with a video. False again.
Romney will be ready Monday. "You are offended by this accusation, Mr. President? The country is offended that your press secretary, your U.N. ambassador and you yourself have repeatedly misled the nation about the origin and nature of the Benghazi attack.
The problem wasn’t the video, the problem was policies for which you say you now accept responsibility. Then accept it, Mr. President. You were asked in the last debate why more security was denied our people in Libya despite the fact that they begged for it. You never answered that question, Mr. President. Or will you blame your secretary of state?"
Esprit d’escalier (“wit of the staircase”) is the French term for the devastating riposte that one should have given at dinner but comes up with only on the way out at the bottom of the staircase. It’s Romney’s fortune that he’s invited to one more dinner. If he gets it right this time, Obama’s narrow victory in debate No. 2, salvaged by the mock umbrage that anyone could accuse him of misleading, will cost him dearly.
It was a huge gaffe. It is indelibly on the record. It will prove a very expensive expedient.
US creates wealth, not poverty
Here's a recent statement frequently suggested by leftist academics, think tank researchers and policymakers: "People were not just struggling because of their personal deficiencies; there were structural factors at play. People weren't poor because they made bad decisions; they were poor because our society creates poverty."
Who made that statement and where it was made is not important at all, but its corrosive effects on the minds of black people, particularly black youths, are devastating.
There's nothing intellectually challenging or unusual about poverty. For most of mankind's existence, his most optimistic scenario was to be able to eke out enough to subsist for another day.
Poverty has been mankind's standard fare and remains so for most of mankind. What is unusual and challenging to explain is affluence – namely, how a tiny percentage of people, mostly in the West, for only a tiny part of mankind's existence, managed to escape the fate that befell their fellow men.
To say that "our society creates poverty" is breathtakingly ignorant.
In 1776, the U.S. was among the world's poorest nations. In less than two centuries, we became the world's richest nation by a long shot. Americans who today are deemed poor by Census Bureau definitions have more material goods than middle-class people as recently as 60 years ago.
Dr. Robert Rector and Rachel Sheffield give us insights in "Understanding Poverty in the United States: Surprising Facts About America's Poor" (Sept. 13, 2011). Eighty percent of poor households have air conditioning. Nearly three-fourths have a car or truck, and 31 percent have two or more. Two-thirds have cable or satellite TV. Half have one or more computers. Forty-two percent own their homes. The average poor American has more living space than the typical non-poor person in Sweden, France or the U.K.
Ninety-six percent of poor parents stated that their children were never hungry during the year because they couldn't afford food. How do these facts square with the statement that "our society creates poverty"? To the contrary, our society has done the best with poverty.
Maybe the professor who made the statements about poverty – who, by the way, is black – was thinking that it's black people who have been made poor by society.
One cannot avoid the fact that average black income today is many multiples of what it was at emancipation, in 1900, in 1940 and in 1960, even though average black income is only 65 percent of white income.
There is no comparison between black standard of living today and that in earlier periods. Again, the statement that "our society creates poverty" is just plain nonsense.
What about the assertion that "people weren't poor because they made bad decisions"?
The poverty rate among blacks is 36 percent. Most black poverty is found in female-headed households, but the poverty rate among black married couples has been in single digits since 1994 and stands today at 7 percent.
Today's black illegitimacy rate is 72 percent, but in the 1940s, it hovered around 14 percent. Less than 50 percent of black students graduate from high school, and most of those who do graduate have a level of academic proficiency far below that of their white counterparts. Black men make up almost 40 percent of the prison population.
Here are my several two-part questions: Is having babies without the benefit of marriage a bad decision, and is doing so likely to affect income? Are dropping out of school and participating in criminal activity bad decisions, and are they likely to have an effect on income?
Finally, do people have free will and the capacity to make decisions, or is their behavior a result of instincts over which they have no control? As a black person, I'm glad that the message taught to so many of today's black youths wasn't taught back in the 1930s, '40s and '50s, when the civil rights struggle was getting into gear. The admonishment that I frequently heard from black adults was, "Be a credit to your race."
Japan has a navy too
Admiral Togo (1905) is not forgotten as China's navy becomes aggressive. Interestingly, when Togo led the eradication of the Russian navy in the straits of Tsushima, it was Togo's flagship that led the action, thus receiving more enemy hits than any other Japanese ship. The Japanese are real warriors
On Sunday, Japan marked the 60th anniversary of the Maritime Self-Defense Force with a major naval exercise. Some 45 ships and 8,000 sailors - including state-of-the-art destroyers, hovercraft able to launch assaults on rough coastlines and new conventionally powered submarines - took part in Fleet Review 2012. About 30 naval aircraft, mostly helicopters, and warships from the US, Singapore and Australia also participated. Observers from 20 countries, including China, watched the maneuvers.
Surprising even military officials, Prime Minister Noda's address to the sailors and soldiers included an expression - "more strenuous efforts and hard work "(isso funrei doryoku) -- used by Admiral Togo of the Japanese Imperial Navy in the Russo-Japanese War in 1905. The prime minister also took the unusual step of including in his speech the Five Mottos that have been recited by Japanese naval cadets since before World War II. The five mottos concern sincerity, discipline and hard work.
"The security environment surrounding our nation has become more difficult than ever before," Mr. Noda told the troops on the destroyer JS Kurama. "We have a neighbor that launches missiles disguised as satellites and engages in nuclear development. We are facing various disputes related to territory and sovereignty." The prime minister was wearing a tailcoat, the designated garb for top civilian government officials at formal military ceremonies.
The prime minister's office denied that the remarks included references to past days of glory for the Japanese navy.
The Japanese naval force is one of the best in the world. Defense of the homeland is its primary mission. Thus, when seven Chinese naval forces passed through Okinawa prefecture's waters today, a Maritime Self-Defense Force aircraft tracked them, not a coast guard unit. The Chinese ships were said to be returning from exercises west of Japan.
Three points are worth noting. Japanese Fleet Reviews occur every three years, according to the Defense Ministry, but the size of the exercise with allied participation makes a statement that Japan has the capabilities to defend its island claims and will not back down in a confrontation with Chinese naval ships. In such a confrontation, Japan would win handily, provided the location was beyond the reach of Chinese land-based air support.
The second point is the Chinese are training east of Japan in the Pacific Ocean. This is not new but it is a reminder that Chinese naval goals reach beyond the nearest island chain, extending far into the western Pacific to Guam.
The third point is a reminder that Japan had a world-class navy when China was being occupied by foreign legations. It maintained that navy from 1905 until Pearl Harbor without a regional challenger. It has the capability to restore that navy. No one will thank China or North Korea if Japan decides to rebuild its navy in order to protect itself. China and its proxy North Korea are sowing the wind…
Society as an organic body: "Karl Marx, in his posthumously published work Grundrisse identified his view of humanity very clearly. Humanity is an organic whole (or body). People aren’t individuals but the cells of this organic entity whose development and maturation Marx tried to chronicle in his works. When you have an organic body you are looking out for, if some part of this body is faltering, another part may need to be called upon or sacrificed so as to help mend it."
Veritas Non Grata Est: "It seems to me after long experience that people in general don’t really want the truth. They only want that which comforts them. They have no desire to actually be right -- only to feel right. And this is, after all, the only reason government and politics exist in the first place."
Stupid Leftist teenager: "A 19-year-old Pennsylvania councilman reportedly remains behind bars after allegedly stealing Mitt Romney campaign signs and damaging a farm field. The Express-Times reports that Alburtis Councilman Kyle A. Bower was arraigned Wednesday on charges stemming from the Oct. 3 incidents and sent to Lehigh County Prison. A judge set Bower’s bail at $5,000, but the teenager won’t be released from custody even if he posts it due to a probation violation. Bower, a Democrat less than a year into his first borough council term, is on probation after pleading guilty to escape and stalking charges on Jan. 4, the same day he took the oath of office, the newspaper reports."
For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)